Lumintop FW1AA Flashlight Review
Lumintop made a small thrower flashlight from the FW series – the FW1AA! It uses a 14500 cell and with the Osram NM1 really throws! Read on!
Official Specs and Features
It looks like there’s two versions of the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight. These two differ in emitter – seen here is the Osram version, but also available is a Nichia 219c version. Of course, there are many other FW series lights, and I’ve covered many of them! Most related would be the triple-emitter version, the FWAA.
On Lumintop’s store, the FW1AA is selling for $45.95. You can add a single 14500 cell to that price for another $6.95. That’s probably worth doing if for nothing else than saving yourself the hassle of sourcing a good 14500 elsewhere.
For a few dollars less, you can get the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight from NealsGadgets.com! Here’s a referral link for the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight at Neal’s site.
The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight is just as fun as you thought it would be after having any of the FW lights, particularly the FWAA lights. I have a few of those and am still impressed by the size of this FW1AA. Add in that it uses Andúril and has such great throw, and this is a fun little light!
The Big Table
|Lumintop FW1AA Flashlight|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$42.95 at Neals Gadgets|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||700|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||714 (102% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||44.1|
|Claimed Throw (m)||330|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||342lux @ 5.016m = 8605cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||185.5 (56.2% of claim)^|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||5800-8500|
|Item provided for review by:||NealsGadgets|
|All my Lumintop reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Lumintop FWAAA 14500 Flashlight
- Pocket clip (two way)
- Spare o-rings (2)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
This little Lumintop FW1AA 14500 flashlight feels like a very refined product. It should, there are so many other versions. But it just feels “right” – it’s a nicely finished flashlight.
I’m really digging the knurling on this light. It’s extremely well done, and the anodizing on it is also perfect.
Inside it’s a pretty typical FW light. There’s an inner sleeve, which provides signal to the tail-e-switch. The threads are square-cut and unanodized.
I think these springs have seen an upgrade from some of the previous FWAA lights – these feel much more robust.
Size and Comps
Size 20.5 X 77.2mm
Nei Weight 32.5g (battery excluded)
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
Also above is the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Below is the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight alongside the smaller FWAA flashlight (a triple). The triple is shorter because it doesn’t need the deep reflector that the single (FW1AA) has. Otherwise, I think they’re the same.
Retention and Carry
The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight uses a two-way pocket clip. No real complaints here; as far as two-way clips go, this one’s great. I do greatly appreciate that it’s a collar-style clip and not a friction fit!
A lanyard is included and the intended way to attach that lanyard is through this hole in the shoulder of the pocket clip. Since the clip is collar-style, this lanyard attachment is extremely secure.
Power and Runtime
The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight is powered by a single lithium-ion cell. The size is 14500. I found that both my button top and flat tops worked fine but I really only had the gold Vapcell you see below in flat/button formats. So really the same cell. This light does not support 1.5V cells!
Put the cell in the normal way – positive toward the head.
Flat or button, Lumintop does specify a max cell length: 50.5 mm.
Here are a few runtimes. There are a couple of user interfaces. I switched to the advanced user interface immediately, then to stepped modes, and then calibrated the thermal settings of the FW1AA.
It seems to me that what I call turbo (double clicking from an “on” state) (seen above) is the same as the top of the stepped output levels (seen below).
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens|
|Turbo (Double click from on state)||700||–||714|
|2 (Lowest stepped output)||–||–||5|
|1 (Lowest ramping output)||–||–||0.20|
Pulse Width Modulation
I’ve done mostly the same thing here that I do with other Andúril lights – the lowest mode (far left) is the lowest of ramping. Because that’s much lower than the lowest stepped mode (annoying!). Then from the second photo to the far right is each of the stepped modes (with the far right being the “double click to turbo” mode). All modes except the highest have PWM (again, not a surprise for Andúril, and doesn’t look to have been sped up for Andúril2.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch for interacting with the Lumintop FW1AA 14500 flashlight. It’s an e-switch, with a big metal button.
I love Andúril2, I think it’s an improvement over the first iteration(s). There are some things some users might not love about it, but I think overall it’s much more approachable. I will note though that the nomenclature might be a bit confusing – the light (all lights with Andúril2) ships in Simple UI. This is not Muggle Mode. You may think “well duh” and by now you’ve already seen the blistering runtime on turbo of Simple, so you get it. But just be aware, don’t hand this light to the uninitiated thinking they won’t set their hand on fire while using Simple UI. Here is where I’d tell you how to switch to muggle mode. There is no muggle mode.
The action is very low, and if you have problems with the other FW – well the action here is the same. I will say that on this FW light (and not any others that I can recall), the metal switch cap can get sort of snagged at the edge of the opening. But it’s not a “clean snag” such that it’s obviously snagged. The switch will still actuate but will be grossly mushy. (This is not the typical “fixable with a new nub” issue, either.) If the button just feels gross and not buttony, just flick at the edges a bit and try to get it “unstuck.” Once I realized this was happening, it wasn’t a problem again.
First, let me remind you of the manual provided by Lumintop:
Note that this is not exactly stock Andúril2 (at least as far as I can tell it). There are a few wrinkles, notably in the thermal configuration areas. Otherwise, it’s about the same.
Here’s a UI table! This table is directly from ToyKeeper’s Andúril2 manual, which you can view here:
I am putting this in a table here with ToyKeeper’s permission. Thanks, TK! This is so much better than me writing it because it’s more reliable, and I completely trust its accuracy (at least, if I can paste it accurately). I’m breaking it up a little differently than ToyKeeper did, though I certainly understand why it was done her way originally.
First, the table for Either User Interface. These actions work whether you’re in Simple or Advanced UI.
|Off||1C||On (ramp mode, memorized level)|
|Off||1H||On (ramp mode, floor level)|
|Off||2C||On (ramp mode, ceiling level)|
|Off||13H||Factory reset (on some lights)|
|Ramp||1H||Ramp (up, with reversing)|
|Ramp||3H||Tint ramping (on some lights)|
|Ramp||3H||Momentary turbo (on lights without tint ramping)|
|Lockout||1C/1H||Momentary moon (lowest floor)|
|Lockout||2C/2H||Momentary moon (highest floor, or manual mem level)|
|Lockout||4C||On (ramp mode, memorized level)|
|Lockout||4H||On (ramp mode, floor level)|
|Lockout||5C||On (ramp mode, ceiling level)|
A table for only Simple User Interface:
|Off||2H||On (momentary ceiling level)|
|Off||10H||Disable Simple UI|
|Ramp||2C||Go to/from ceiling|
A table for only Advanced (aka “Full”) User Interface:
|Off||2H||On (momentary turbo)|
|Off||3H||Strobe mode (whichever was used last)|
|Off||7C||Aux LEDs: Next pattern|
|Off||7H||Aux LEDs: Next color|
|Off||10C||Enable Simple UI|
|Off||10H||Simple UI ramp config menu (1: floor, 2: ceiling, [3: steps])|
|Ramp||2C||Go to/from ceiling (or turbo if at ceil already)|
|Ramp||3C||Change ramp style (smooth / stepped)|
|Ramp||5H||Sunset timer on, and add 5 minutes|
|Ramp||7H||Ramp config menu (1: floor, 2: ceiling, [3: steps])|
|Ramp||10C||Turn on manual memory and save current brightness|
|Ramp||10H||Manual memory config menu (1: off, 2: set timeout)|
|Lockout||7C||Aux LEDs: Next pattern|
|Lockout||7H||Aux LEDs: Next color|
|Lockout||10H||Auto-lock config menu (1: set timeout)|
|Strobe (any)||2C||Next strobe mode|
|Strobe (any)||3H||Tint ramping (on some lights)|
|Strobe (any)||5C||Momentary mode (using current strobe)|
|Candle||1H/2H||Brighter / dimmer|
|Candle||5H||Sunset timer on, add 5 minutes|
|Party strobe||1H/2H||Faster / slower|
|Tactical strobe||1H/2H||Faster / slower|
|Biking||1H/2H||Brighter / dimmer|
|Lightning||1H||Interrupt current flash or start new one|
|Batt check||2C||Next blinky mode (Temp check, Beacon, SOS)|
|Batt check||7H||Voltage config menu|
|Temp check||2C||Next blinky mode (Beacon, SOS, Batt check)|
|Temp check||7H||Thermal config menu|
|Beacon||1H||Configure beacon timing|
|Beacon||2C||Next blinky mode (SOS, Batt check, Temp check)|
|SOS||2C||Next blinky mode (Batt check, Temp check, Beacon)|
|Momentary||Any||On (until button is released)|
|Momentary||Disconnect power||Exit Momentary mode|
|Config menus||Hold||Skip current item with no changes|
|Config menus||Release||Configure current item|
|Number entry||Click||Add 1 to value for current item|
LED and Beam
This Lumintop FW1AA flashlight has a single emitter. It’s an Osram NM1 and is coupled with a fairly deep and smooth reflector.
It’s really exactly the setup you’d want in this tiny thrower!
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
No real surprises with this very throwy emitter: on the lowest mode, the CCT clocks in at around 5800K, and creeps up from there. By turbo (double click from on), the CCT is very blue. CRI stays around 70, which is low.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- It’s a small FW series light!
- Works with Button and Flat top 14500 cells
- Throw is really massive
- The pocket clip can go on the head as well as the tail
- Collar clips are great!
What I don’t like
- Steps down before the official specs can be met
- Two-way pocket clip
- PWM (but it’s fast as on most Andúril lights, so this isn’t a huge deal)
- Doesn’t support AA (1.5V) cells. I can kind of allow this, but it’s worth mentioning.
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